Muskegon River Fly Fishing & Guided Fly Fishing Services
The Muskegon River is a tributary to Lake Michigan. It is well known for its tremendous runs of steelhead (one of the stongest in the Midwest) and salmon. It is also recently famous for its population of resident brown trout and rainbow trout along with its prolific hatches of insects (mayflies, stones, and caddis) due to the re-licensing of Croton Dam, and the fact that it is a tail water fishery.
The Muskegon flows out of Houghton Lake in Northern Michigan, located over 200 river miles away from the city of Muskegon, and Lake Michigan. The river harbors tremendous numbers of resident brown and rainbow trout coupled with prolific runs of steelhead and salmon. The Muskegon is known as a “bug factory” ever getting better with “run of the river ”, the new release schedule agreed upon by Consumers Power Company (CMS Energy) which is the operator of Croton Dam, and runs stream flows close to that of a natural dam free river. The new program came about in July of 1994 and is responsible for managing more consistent flows which have stabilized the fishery.
Croton Dam (Newaygo area) to Newaygo is the most popular area on the river for fishing, but productive stretches of river for trout, salmon, steelhead and smallmouth bass run all the way to Lake Michigan. The river bottom consists of rock, gravel bars,sand, and aquatic grasses, and the biomass is high. The best way to fish this big river is by boat. This will enable you to get to the pools and runs inaccessible to wade fishing, and help to get away from fishing pressure. Good access sites include Croton dam, Pine St., Thornapple Ave. and Henning County Park boat launches, with wadable water locted by each and all of these access sites.
With tremendous runs of steelhead and salmon along with its great population of trout and good hatches of insects, this fishery has become one of the best in the Midwest and a favorite to "Michigan Fly Fishing anglers". Only its neighbors, the Pere Marquette, AuSable and the Manistee, have equal diversity.
Hatches on the Muskegon include a variety of mayflies, stoneflies, and caddis. Some of the Muskegon’s mayflies include Gray Drakes, Blue-winged Olives, Isonycias, and sulphurs, many caddis species and sizes. Little blacks are the predominant species of stoneflies and hatch strong in the late spring.
Although the access and wade fishing is good on this river, the use of a guide will always provide a safe, exciting educational experience, and put you on the best fishing the river has to offer at that time of year.
Jon's Guide Service offers guided fly fishing and instruction on Michigan's Muskegon River